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Bugbear or bugaboo

bugbear is something that elicits fear or annoyance from someone. Common synonyms are problem or annoyance.

It is spelled as one word.


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Bugbear is commonly pluralized by adding an s.

It was originally an imaginary creature used to make little children afraid. It may be a variant of the word bogey, which does not have an exact origin itself. Between Middle English, Old Scots, German, and Welsh there are many options for where the word came from.

Mainly in North America, another variation of bogey ended up as bugaboobugaboo is something that elicits, specifically, caution or fear. It is also listed as a synonym of bugbear. Our hunch is that this listing came as a result of bugaboo‘s greater popularity, as compared to bugbearBugaboo is used almost nine times for every usage of bugbear.

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